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Firbeck (South Yorkshire)

Firbeck shown within South Yorkshire
Metropolitan borough Rotherham
Metropolitan county South Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WORKSOP
Postcode district S81
Dialling code 01709
Police South Yorkshire
Fire South Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
European Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Rother Valley
List of places: UKEnglandYorkshire

Coordinates: 53°23'30?N 1°09'00?W? / ?53.3917, -1.15

Firbeck is a village in the metropolitan borough of Rotherham (part of South Yorkshire, England), on the border with Nottinghamshire. It lies between Maltby and Oldcotes, off the A634 and B6463 roads. It is located at 53° 23' 30" North, 1° 9' West, at an elevation of around 50 metres above sea level. It has a pub a church and a thriving social club.

An oval field in the village marks what was once the private racecourse of 18th century racehorse owner Anthony St Leger, who originated the St. Leger Stakes. While the first "St. Leger" race was held on Cantley Common in Doncaster in 1776, and was not named such until over a year later, local legend holds that the race was being run in Firbeck prior to this.

Anthony St Leger's Park Hill estate in Firbeck also gave its name to a race in the Doncaster calendar.

[edit] Firbeck Hall

Firbeck also contains Firbeck Hall, formerly the home of the 19th century architect and writer Henry Gally Knight who is assumed to have been a principal information source for Walter Scott during the writing of Ivanhoe. Firbeck Hall was built in 1594 by William West. West made a fortune practicing law and serving as an associate to Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury from 1580 to 1594. He was the author of a legal textbook called "Symbolaeographia."[1]

In 1935, a Sheffield stockbroker Cyril Nicholson opened the hall as a country club, investing £80,000 in its renovation. The interior was dramatically modernised and featured a mirror-walled ballroom and an elaborate and versatile state-of-the art lighting system. There was also a heated outdoor swimming pool. Membership fees ranged from three to seven guineas, and the club was patronised by the likes of Amy Johnson and the then Prince of Wales. Such was the reputation of the club, that the BBC transmitted its weekly Saturday show Late Night Dance Music with Henry Hall, Carroll Gibbons and Charlie Kunz from Firbeck.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, the hall was used by Sheffield Royal Infirmary and the Royal Air Force, with the adjacent aerodrome becoming RAF Firbeck. At the cessation of hostilities, the building was bought by the Miners Welfare Commission for use as a rehabilitation centre for injured miners. This centre closed in 1984, and the building is currently privately owned.

The hall is reputedly haunted by a Green Lady; believed to be the daughter of a former owner who drowned herself in the hall's lake when her Roundhead lover was killed.

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(Source: Wikipedia)
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